Novel 2 hits cyberspace

Well, my second e-book The Fracking Cult Murders, is now available to buy from Amazon, although at the weekend it'll be on a 99p deal, and so will my previous e-novel Murder on the Gatwick Express. It was another NaNoWriMo project, written in 30 days last November, and the process was just as I described in my earlier blog posting. I'm still not 100% happy in the way Scrivener compiled it, but it'll do! As last time, i didn't do any planning, it just popped out of my head day by day, in almost real time, i.e. the Lewes bonfire night sequence was written on 5 November. It then lay fallow during December and I started revising it and preparing it for publication a couple of weeks ago. All done and dusted in less than three months.

To my surprise, the first e-book has earn me some good money, mainly because Amazon gives me 70% of the takings. My proper publisher used to give me 8%, and 8% of 8% for the US edition! Peanuts!

The new book is a steampunk novel. I'm not 100% sure what steampunk is apart from the wearing of tweed, the waxing of moustaches and the adding of old watch cog wheels to jewellery, but I took it to mean a world where electricity never got discovered. Everything works by steam, or horse, power. I was influenced in the railway detective novels of Edward Marston and Andrew Martin, though those books are set in the past; mine is set in an alternate present, where subtle changes to history have produced the world in which my characters live. I was interested in how a plot could progress without mobile phones, or even phones or telegrams. it was only afterwards I discovered that Terry Pratchett had used semaphore (the clacks) in some of his novels. Ah well.

It's a sort of reworking of the first novel, but it's also quite different. The plot of the first novel was a safety net to fall into, but also offered some post-modern opportunities, to play with references, character traits and locations. Like Dickens fictionalised Rochester as Cloisterham, I changed the name of the town it all happens in to the fictitious Eastsea, and the location of the fracking to Falcombe. I expect you can guess where they are really. And despite some women friends thinking they are depicted in the books? Well, only accidentally!

Hope you enjoy it.